As a working mother of 5 children employed in various administrative positions, I totally understood the tasks of organizing both children and adults in working efficiently toward planned goals, even before my husband broached his idea for a new kind of high school.
During our initial discussion of Gene's blueprint, our adopted special needs son Gabe was the victim of a terrible assault at his public school in Tucson. That event clinched our decision to move ahead and open a charter high school, where Gabe and other students could be safe and learn at their own pace.
Thus, with our charter school application approved in 1998, we opened our first Rose Academy graduating our first 12 students in December of 1999. Now twenty years later, it has proved popular with students, parents, and teachers. So popular, that at this point we have 5 campuses and 1,200 current high school students enrolled.
There was one critical issue that I insisted we deal with as we embarked on this new educational entrepreneurial adventure. That issue was to prepare for eventual succession by bringing on our daughter (on the education side) and her best friend (into the business and finance area).
I am proud to say that, with some twenty years' experience, our daughter Dr. Kelly Hurtado and her friend Cathleen Capen are taking over the reins at the ROSE Academies of Tucson.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in passing the baton to the next generation was that they had determined not to build any further charter high schools in Tucson. Instead, they wanted to explore a national expansion into a completely new education paradigm in conjunction with the trade unions' apprenticeships training.